Along with my move of apartment i have also started going to a new gym. It is not a new gym brand, just a new location that is closer to where i live.
It is strange how i have been going to the gym c.a 6 years now and strength training 5 years… but still, whenever i try a new gym i feel like a newbie and like i have never been to a gym before.
I know i am not alone in feeling this way – many people hate going to a new gym, no matter how many years you have been going to a gym.
Trying to find where all the different equipment is, finding the lockers and the bathroom. Wandering around, looking lost even if you know exactly what you want and what exercise you are going to do, you can’t find the right equipment or location. Or maybe the gym machines are different to the ones you usually use and you can’t figure out how the new ones work, so you can’t adjust them accordingly. Yup, it can be frustrating, embarrassing and cause anxiety. It does for me anyway.
The first time i tried the new gym location there were SO MANY people. Granted, it was after Easter so i guess there were alot of people trying to burn off the calories as usual after holidays. So the first time i went to the gym location i felt flustered, awkward, anxious because i couldn’t find what i was looking for, the gym area was smaller than i was used to and it felt like people were standing 2cm away from each other. So i left thinking, “I am not going back to that location. I will just travel further each time i workout to my regular gym location.”
However… this is how i always feel. I like the comfort of my usual location, the “normal”. But i remember when i first tried the closest gym location where i lived at previously, i felt the same and left thinking the exact same thing that “nope, i am not going back here”. But then i went back and soon it became my favourite gym location.
So i decided to go back, and have tried the “new” gym location 2 more times and am beginning to like it alot more – especially now when there aren’t so many people. It is closer to home and more convenient than having to travel into the city each day so prefer going to the one closer to home, also realising that it has some gym equipment which my regular gym doesn’t have.
It is always the initial anxiety and nerves of being “new” – even if i know what i am doing. It feels like everyone will look at me and think, “wow, who is she… i have never seen her before. Does she even workout?”. I feel like i return to the 16 year old insecure me who began working out and had no idea what she was doing. However, once i actually begin working out my confidence comes back and i just zone everyone out. NOT TO MENTION that i am pretty sure no one even notices if i am new at the gym or not. And everyone is so focused on their own exercise and workout program that they don’t have time to focus on what anyone elses is doing.
So… my advice to all of you. DON’T be scared to try a new gym or new form of exercise. It may feel scary and anxietyridden at first, but it will pass. Also – give it a few times… don’t decide after the first session that you don’t want to go there/do it anymore… instead give it atleast 3-4 chances and if you still don’t like the form of exercise or exercise location – change. But give it an honest chance first.
I know that if i had listened to the anxiety of first starting a gym or trying a new gym i would never go to the gym right now. Instead i would most likely just be out running or walking because i would be too anxious to go to a gym and feel awkward or anxious.
Also trust me… nobody notices or cares – everyone is so focused on themselves.
However making a plan, having a good playlist and just trying to rock some confidence can help if you feel very anxious!!